The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board on Friday approved a significant climate plan to slash carbon pollution from Virginia’s power plants by 3% each year over the next decade.
The plan also allows power plants to join nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program that has reduced power plant carbon pollution in half since 2009 in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
The Board’s decision was praised by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit environmental organization.
But the board’s vote does not mean Virginia’s involvement in the RGGI is guaranteed. That will depend on whether Gov. Ralph Northam vetoes a Republican-backed budget measure the General Assembly passed that would block Virginia from participating in the RGGI.
Northam has until May 3 to decide and the NRDC’s Virginia Policy director, Walton Shepherd, has already called on Northam to veto the measure.